Human Rights

Briton in the dock for “indecency’’ in Gambia

A British national, Edwin Arthur Levender, is on trial in Gambia, accused of photographing a naked woman. He was on Monday, 18th January 2010, arraigned at the Bundung Magistrates’ Court, charged with ‘‘indecent exposure’’. Mr Levender, 64, appeared before Magistrate Olajibutu Kayode alongside 27 year old Jalikatou Bah, his Gambian counterpart with whom he is accused of the offence. According to the particulars of the offence, on 17th November 2009, at the Palma Rima Beach in the Senegamabia area, the accused persons indecently and unlawfully exposed Jalikatou Bah’s private parts. Both of them denied the charges. Kawsu Suwareh, a prosecution witness who testified in court and described himself as a businessman working at the beach side, identified the accused persons. He said that on 17th November 2009, while he was at the beach side, he saw them in between two restaurants, with the first accused taking photograph of the second accused with his camera, the latter been naked. The prosecution witness added that he approached the first accused and asked him if he would do such in his home country. At that juncture, Suwareh said, the second accused intervened by claiming that they were husband and wife. The witness added that at that juncture accused persons started howling insults at him, prompting onlookers to emerge from every direction to witness the scenario. Suwareh went on to tell the court that he was able to confiscate the camera from the first accused person and headed for the direction of the TDA security post, where he handed it over to the security officers on duty. The officers, he said, later visited the scene where they arrested the accused persons.
If found guilty, the two, who were released on bail, face between six months and a year in prison, or a fine equivalent of up to 4,000 US dollars.

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